30 leaders join City of London Taskforce


25th March 2021

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3 minutes

30 influential leaders have joined City of London Corporation taskforce to boost socio-economic diversity in UK financial and professional services

Connectr is proud to have been selected as one of three Delivery Partners for the taskforce led by City of London Corporation which will tackle the lack of socio-economic diversity across senior positions in the UK’s financial and professional services.

On 22nd March 2021, a group of 30 cross-sector leaders from the industry were appointed to the taskforce commissioned by HM Treasury and BEIS, to lead this change. The newly announced taskforce members come from different subsectors, regions and backgrounds, and will be joined by six observers who will also be attending the high-profile taskforce meetings.

The group’s mission is to challenge the lack of career progression for those coming from non-professional backgrounds and to explore the intersections with other protected characteristics, including gender and race.

Recent research from the Bridge Group recently showed that 89% of senior roles in financial services were occupied by people from professional backgrounds. Those from lower socio-economic backgrounds take 25% longer to progress, despite no evidence of poorer performance. This increases to 32% for people who also identified as black.

As the UK is set to shortly emerge from Covid lockdown restrictions, it is crucial businesses seize this opportunity to ensure equal opportunity and access to the sector for talent of all backgrounds, whilst also retaining high performing employees.

The 30 taskforce members will support in driving this progression and retention of diverse senior employees, where high performance is valued over ‘fit and polish’. Their tasks include:
• Informing – Shaping the taskforce’s work
• Influencing – Raising awareness of the need to address socio-economic diversity and showcasing case studies of lived experiences
• Improving – Boosting socio-economic diversity at senior levels within their own organisations and beyond

Taskforce members will support in leading the three key areas:

#1: Lead an industry consultation on how government, regulators and sector bodies can incentivise firms to take action to improve socio-economic diversity – led by Deloitte.
#2: Create a membership body/peer network for financial services, focused on progression. This offers an opportunity where employers can benchmark against each other and share best practice on delivering socio-economic diversity at senior levels – led by Connectr.
#3: Produce a productivity analysis, to build the business case for increasing socio-economic diversity at senior levels in financial and professional services – led by PwC.

“We are delighted to have the support of a great group of individuals, whose experience and knowledge will be vital to making the taskforce’s work a success.”

“This is a unique opportunity to redress how the financial and professional services sector supports talent from diverse backgrounds, providing equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of their socio-economic status to get ahead. Through a sustained commitment, the taskforce will make a real difference in creating meaningful and lasting change.” Catherine McGuinness, Taskforce Chair and Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation

“At Connectr we are passionate about supporting underrepresented talent to secure and progress in their chosen career. We are thrilled to have been selected by City of London as Delivery Partner for the taskforce. Connectr’s delivery of a membership organisation will drive meaningful impact to those who need it most within the Financial and Professional Services sector, and beyond.” Simon Reichwald, Taskforce Delivery Lead

For full details on the taskforce, and how your organisation can get involved to be part of leading the change talk to our Delivery Lead, Simon Reichwaldsimon@connectr.com